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What you need to know about the top electoral races in Riverside County 

As February comes to a close, voters are gearing up to cast their ballots.

The California primary election takes place March 5, and in Riverside County, three top governing offices are included on the ballot. According to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters Office, 1,374,664 vote-by-mail ballots have been issued as Feb. 28.

Nearly 124,030 ballots have been returned.

The following offices are up for election: 

  • Board of Supervisors
  • County Board of Education
  • Judicial offices

Candidates who receive the majority of votes can outright win their respective seats. Top two candidates may also head to the general election on Nov. 5, 2024 in lieu of insufficient votes, as stated in the Candidate’s Handbook.

Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors is made up of five members, each assigned to a special district. The board has a variety of responsibilities, which include:

  • Enacting ordinances and resolutions
  • Adopting an annual budget 
  • Approving contracts
  • Appropriating funds 
  • Determining land use zoning 
  • Appointments to boards and commissions

Supervisors’ seats are up for election in two districts:

District 1 candidates include: Jose Medina, Richard Roth, Gracie Torres and Debbie Walsh.

Incumbent Kevin Jeffries will not be running for reelection. The district has about 485,000 residents and encompasses Wildomar, Perris, and Riverside, as well as the unincorporated communities of DeLuz, Good Hope, Highgrove, LaCresta, Mead Valley, Meadowbrook, Tenaja.

District 3 candidates include: Chuck Washington, Jack Guerrero, Jonathan Ingram and Mike Juarez.

Incumbent Washington is running for reelection, having won the seat in 2020. The district includes the cities of Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula, and Wildomar, as well as the unincorporated communities of Aguanga, Anza Valley, East Hemet, French Valley, Green Acres, Homeland, Lake Riverside, Sage and Winchester, as well as parts of Valle Vista.

County Board of Education

The County Board of Education is made up of seven members, each representing a trustee area in Riverside County. The board provides educational, financial, legislative and leadership services to all K-12 school districts.

At least two board districts are up for election:

  • District 4 candidates include: Incumbent Bruce Dennis and Sergei Vinkov.

The Riverside Unified School District approximately educates 42,000 students in more than 50 schools. The school district also serves the unincorporated areas of Highgrove and Woodcrest.

Judicial Offices

The Superior Court of Riverside County is one of 58 in California. Referred to as trial courts, superior courts handle a variety cases:

  • All civil cases (family law, probate, juvenile, and other civil cases)
  • All criminal cases (felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions, like traffic tickets)
  • Small claims cases and appeals of small claims cases
  • Appeals of civil cases involving $25,000 or less 
  • Appeals of infraction (like traffic) and misdemeanor cases

Each county has one superior court. Riverside County homes the 4th District Court of Appeal. The following candidates are running for judge: Jeffrey Kirk, Gerald Pfohl and Elizabeth Tucker.

Superior court judges, and occasionally a jury, hears witnesses’ testimony and other evidence and decides cases by applying facts to the state law. The California courts serve more than 39 million people in the state.

What else is on the ballot?

The county will be voting for the offices of Mayor and City Councilmembers Wards 1, 3, 5, and 7. A measure to tax up to 10% of gross receipts on all cannabis businesses was approved by city council in 2023, and it will be on the ballot as well.

For more electoral information, contact the City Clerk’s Office or call 951-826-5557.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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